The Sunday Mail
Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday met white business people in Bulawayo as part of his national reconciliation mandate and mission to resuscitate industries in the city.
VP Mphoko has been holding such meetings since 2015.
In an interview with our Bulawayo Bureau after the interface, the VP was optimistic of elaborate co-operation between Government and the business people.
“Now, we are meeting because I am the Minister responsible for National Peace, Healing and Reconciliation; it is now a straight-forward responsibility,” he said.
“We met to discuss the hand of reconciliation extended by the President to the white community. Therefore, I am making a follow-up on the issue.”
VP Mphoko said white farmers were keen to take up opportunities presented to them.
“They are saying a number of things. They saw the opportunities and took them. As ministers, we have to explain to them, hence they are now coming forward.
“(Jim Ross) Goddard and (Peter) Cunningham gave testimonies of what they have seen, their challenges and achievements since a hand was extended to them. This is why there is an interest, the cake is for everybody.”
VP Mphoko also said there is nothing wrong with whites taking up political positions, including being ministers, adding that they are free to attend the forthcoming Presidential Youth Interface in Bulawayo.
Mr Raymond Roth, one of the businessmen at the meeting, said such interactions are important.
“As communities, we need to work together for the betterment of the city and the country as a whole. The initiative set by the VP to call us together has been an exceptional example that Government wants to work with the people,” he said.
“We are happy that our concerns are being heard by the right person, the Vice-President.”
Mr Goddard added: “The meeting went well. It shows that VP Mphoko wants to help the people. We need to live in harmony despite where we come from, our language, religion or colour. We need to work for the betterment of the nation and alleviate poverty.”